Internet Use Policy

In order to fulfill its role to provide resources that meet the cultural, informational, recreational and educational needs of the community, the Wicomico Public Libraries provides public access to the Internet and other electronic resources through computers and free wireless internet connections. The use of any and all aforementioned resources constitutes the users agreement to adhere to this policy.

Individual users are responsible for determining the suitability of Internet content for themselves. The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to make decisions regarding what library resources, including those found on the Internet, are appropriate for their own minor children. The Library staff does not act in the place of parents (in loco parentis) to restrict what a child may access.

Individuals using the Library’s computers and wireless access must remember that the Internet is an ungoverned and unregulated source of information. Library users must recognize their increased responsibility when using this resource. Users of the Internet must continually evaluate the information they retrieve, both the validity as well as the suitability of the information, according to their own standards.

The Wicomico Public Libraries Board of Trustees does not permit the following:
Violation of copyright laws or software licensing agreements;
Activity which is disruptive, offensive, libelous, or slanderous;
Activity which violates another user's privacy;
Access and display of materials that are obscene or constitute child pornography (as defined by Federal statutes, 18 U.S. Code, Sections 1460 and 2256, and Maryland Annotated Code, Criminal Law Article, Title 11, Subtitle 2, Obscene Matter)

To be in compliance with the Federal law -CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act, 2000) and Maryland Law Article 23, Section 506.1, the Wicomico Public Libraries Board of Trustees authorized the installation of filtering software which blocks pornography and obscenity on all Internet access computers.

Customers should be aware that filtering software is not a perfect tool. Thus:
If a customer believes that a specific web site should either be blocked or un-blocked, the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form should be completed. Please ask a librarian for a copy of the packet which contains information about the process and the appropriate form.

Customers displaying or accessing obscenity will be told that this behavior violates the Library’s policy and will be instructed to leave the Library for the day or longer. Details on these procedures can be found in the Library's Procedures for Security Incidents.

The viewing of pages that contain or display child pornography is a criminal act and may be prosecutable as a felony. The Library will assist in the prosecution of criminal activity. Staff members that believe that criminal activity may be taking place on a Library computer or via the Library’s wireless connection should consult another staff member and, when possible, the Executive Director or their designee to determine if police should be called. Any staff member may call the police (911) if the situation is urgent and the Executive Director or a supervisor is not immediately available.

The Library reserves the right to terminate an individual’s use of an electronic resource, Library’s computer or wireless connection at any time for failure to comply with these policies.
The Executive Director of the Wicomico Public Libraries is the official custodian of all owned and leased computer hardware and its accompanying data. Any request from law enforcement official or other for access to such hardware of data must be referred to the Executive Director of Wicomico Public Libraries.

The Library recognizes that the Internet is a rich, albeit unregulated resource, and that not all sources of the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, legal or philosophically acceptable to all citizens. The Library has instituted an Online Presence Policy, which guides the staff as they seek to select links for the Library’s website that will guide visitors to sites that have been reviewed according to the same selection criteria used for other library resources.

Approved by Board of Trustees – December, 17, 2019

Policy Type
Policy Audience